What to Know About Alimony Before Beginning a Divorce

If there’s a significant gap in income between you and your spouse and you’ve been married for a reasonable amount of time, there’s a good chance the court will require one spouse to pay the other payments in the form of alimony. The following outlines some of the basics to know about what alimony could look like in a Mississippi divorce – the actual costs and guidelines may make you reconsider that split if your financial health is at stake.

Typical Rules of Mississippi Alimony

The court will typically define the following terms, which can dictate how much alimony a spouse might be responsible for and how long he or she would have to pay it:

  • An alimony end date (which could run several years into the future)
  • When the spouse payee remarries, alimony typically ends unless the payment is a lump sum or fixed amount paid over time
  • If children no longer need full-time parenting at home
  • A determination is made that the payee spouse hasn’t made a reasonable effort to become self-sufficient after a reasonable amount of time
  • Alimony ending after one spouse dies

Much of this can be determined during divorce negotiations and properly done through the guidance of a qualified divorce attorney.

Tax Considerations with Alimony

Alimony is no longer considered tax-deductible for the paying spouse, and supported spouses do not have to include it in their gross income. In any case, both parties should keep proper documentation of all checks paid out and/or all checks received.

Rules Specific to Mississippi Alimony

In Mississippi, alimony can be either a lump sum or periodic payment. In the former, a one-time or over-time payment is made and cannot later be modified or changed. The decision is considered final, and payments can continue upon the death or remarriage of either spouse. The latter is a more standard version of alimony where standard payments are made over a period of time and are modifiable.

The spouse can petition the court’s ruling on any alimony amount or payment setup. Alimony is only given on a “long-term” marriage, but the Supreme Court has not made a ruling defining a threshold for “long-term”. The general consensus is a marriage of seven years or more. The court will consider various economic and familial factors when determining an appropriate alimony schedule if the two parties cannot agree to one on their own. It’s typically more favorable to negotiate an alimony schedule out of court rather than in it.


If the two parties are not amicable, then alimony can be a highly contested issue through divorce proceedings. If you’re potentially considering divorce in Jackson or Brandon, it’s time to speak with a knowledgeable and professional spousal support law firm. Call The Law Offices of Rusty Williard today at (601) 824-9797 to learn more about our expertise and schedule a free consultation.